So we’re all bankers now?

Just doing my Saturday spin through the internet news sites I frequent, and came across this story:

BBC News: Treasury takes 65% Lloyds stake

In which they state that the British Government, and therefore the British tax payer, have now taken an almost 80% stake in economic terms, a 65% stake in decision making terms in Llyods Banking Group and RBS. So I guess we’re all bankers now!

What really concerned me was this wonderful quotation:

Mr Timms admitted the government did not know how much of the total losses would be borne by the tax payer.

Asked about speculation that the taxpayer could lose up to £100bn on the deal, Mr Timms replied: “Precedents would suggest that the loss would be a great deal less than that but as I said we just don’t know.”

Nice to know we’ve got some good research and analysis behind the decision! As shadow chancellor George Osborne said to the BBC;

“The real question is, are we going to get value for money?…Because Britain has now spent more on bailing out its banks than any other country in the world, given our size, and we’ve got precious little to show for it.”

Just to put the icing on the cake, here is a quote from the Lloyds spokesperson:

We’ve had good, grown-up conversations with the government. We’ve been keen to protect the interests of our shareholders – which is what we’re paid to do.  – Lloyd’s spokesman Shane O’Riordain

Grown up conversations?  Protect the interests of shareholders? Oh that makes me feel so much safer!

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